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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Wider social issues in Pakistan

Pakistani Hindu women

We have repeatedly reported on the kidnap and rape of Christian women, and violence against Christians generally. These are almost always religiously motivated. However, we will do well to remember that wider social situation in Pakistan. I include links to a number of articles that talk about very concerning issues in Pakistan.

A number of situations we have reported on are in the port city of Karachi (of which a little more in a later article). It has long been a city of ethnic strife, and 'political' shootings are common, and often the dead are totally apolitical innocent victims in the crossfire, as the following article tells : In July alone, 232 were killed in this manner, and people live in a state of fear. Political parties are using protection money rackets, 'spot checks' on civilians to determine areas and deduce their politics, leading to kidnap, torture and death. Ambulance drivers are paid to carry 'dead bodies' and kalashnikovs, grenades and rocket launchers to the various factions. The dead bodies get up and walk with the weapons when they reach the destination. And then the ambulances are fired upon (surprise) killing the (genuine) injured within them.

Another report makes chilling reading - about homo and heterosexual abuse (and murder) and pimping of street children in Pakistan, largely by the police. We have reported in the past Christian boys (not on the street) who were kidnapped, raped and murdered by police officers. This was not an abberration. Many children run away from home due to beatings, an estimated 170,000 children live on the streets. Up to 90% are abused on the first night of being on the streets, and 60% have been abused by the police. For more, see

Another article (I don't agree with all the attitudes of the writer, but the facts and experiences are revealing) reveals that 80% of Pakistani women suffer domestic abuse, and that Pakistan is ranks the 3rd worst country in the world to be a woman. Rape is common, and the victims are blamed, rather than the perpetrators.

Another reason why it is so bad is Female Genital Mutilation, usually associated with Africa, but what most people don't know is that it is practised in Pakistan too, among certain groups, and it is increasing. This is also being forced increasingly on British pakistani girls. They go off on holiday, unknowing, and come back mutilated and maimed for life. The following link contains details, but it is very disturbing

In addition, Christians are, of course, not the only minority who is suffering. One aspect of Hindu women's plight is that the state does not have, and seems to be refusing to have, official means of recognising Hindu weddings. Thus a maltreated Hindu wife has no recourse in court, because she has no acceptable proof of marriage.

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